Tenants' Rights In Colorado

6 Rights of Tenants in Colorado

Landlords and tenants in the state of Colorado must treat each other, as well as the rental property, with a mutual respect. Colorado has enacted landlord tenant laws in order to provide both landlord and tenant with structure by spelling out rules they must follow throughout their relationship. Tenants are granted certain rights when it comes to leasing the property, the condition the property must be kept in and protection from illegal evictions. Here are six rights and obligations of tenants in Colorado.

Colorado Tenant’s Right to Fair Housing

Tenants in Colorado are protected under the Federal Fair Housing Act. This Act, which was created in 1968, was meant to protect certain classes of people from discrimination in housing related activities. This includes renting a home, buying a home, or obtaining a mortgage for a home. These seven protected classes include:

  • Color
  • Disability (Physical and Mental)
  • Familial Status
  • National Origin
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sex

In addition to the Federal Fair Housing Act, Colorado tenants are further protected under Colorado’s own Fair Housing Act. This Act offers protections for the seven classes of people already protected under the Federal Housing Act, but extends protections to four additional classes. These classes include:

  • Ancestry
  • Creed
  • Marital Status
  • Sexual Orientation

Therefore, in the state of Colorado, if a landlord refuses to rent to you based solely on the fact that you are single and they would prefer a married couple living on the property, it is considered a discriminatory action and you may have grounds for legal action against the landlord. Another example would be if the landlord refused to rent to a tenant because of the tenant’s sexual orientation. In this case, the tenant may also have grounds for legal action against the landlord.

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Colorado Tenant’s Right to the Security Deposit

§§ 38-12-101 to 38-12-104

Landlords in the state of Colorado are legally allowed to require a one-time security deposit from their tenants in addition to the monthly rent. Although Colorado’s rules may not be as strict as those in other states, the state of Colorado still does have specific rules both landlord and tenants must follow when it comes to security deposits. This includes rules for how much a landlord can charge a tenant, how a landlord must store a tenant’s deposit and reasons a landlord can take deductions from a tenant’s security deposit.

Colorado landlord tenant law does not set a maximum amount a landlord can charge a tenant as a security deposit. However, if you charge a ridiculous sum, such as five months’ rent, as a security deposit, you will have a very difficult time finding tenants. It is common to charge between one and two month’s rent as a security deposit.

Colorado landlord tenant law does not put into place any stipulations on how a landlord must store a tenant’s security deposit. The deposit does not have to be placed in an account at a banking or other financial institution, and the account is not required to earn interest.

When taking deductions from a tenant’s security deposit, a Colorado landlord is allowed to make deductions for unpaid rent, damage to the unit as well as unpaid utility, repair or cleaning bills.

Colorado Tenant’s Rights After Landlord Retaliation

§38-12-503 and §38-12-509

Colorado’s landlord tenant law includes a statute on landlord retaliation. Tenants in Colorado have a right to file a complaint if their rental unit does not meet the standards of the warranty of habitability. However, the burden of proving that the unit violates a health, building or safety code lies on the tenant. If a landlord attempts to punish the tenant in some way because the tenant complained about the condition of the property, the landlord could be accused of an act of retaliation. These acts could include increasing a tenant's rent or filing for a retaliatory eviction.

Colorado Tenant’s Rights After Breach to Warranty of Habitability

§§ 38-12-503, 38-12-505, 38-12-507 and 38-12-508.

In Colorado, tenants have the right to live in a rental unit that meets certain standards. These standards are known as the warranty of habitability. If the tenant feels that conditions at the dwelling are not living up to the standards of habitability, then the tenant can file a complaint with the landlord or the local government. If the landlord does not fix the breach, the tenant can terminate the rental agreement or take the issue to court.

Colorado Tenant’s Rights After Domestic Violence

§§ 13-14-101(2), 18-6-800.3.38-12-103, 38-12-402 and 38-12-503

Colorado landlord tenant law has put rules in place to assist tenants who have been victims of domestic violence and domestic abuse. The statute defines what is considered domestic violence and what is considered domestic abuse. Colorado tenants have the right to terminate their lease agreement after domestic violence or abuse. They must, however, provide the proper written notice to the landlord, as well as the proper documentation, such as a copy of a police report or order of protection.

Colorado Tenant’s Obligations Under Landlord-Tenant Law


Just as Colorado’s landlord tenant law protects many rights of tenants in the state, it also imposes upon these tenants certain obligations. The most basic obligations are to pay rent on time and to abide by the terms of the lease agreement. In Colorado, tenants are also obligated to keep their unit in a clean and sanitary condition and to respect the quiet enjoyment of all other tenants on the premises.

Colorado’s Landlord Tenant Law

To view the text of Colorado’s landlord tenant law, please consult Colorado’s Revised Statutes §§13-40-101 to 13-40-123and §§38-12-101 to 38-12-601.